Tollway willing to step in to fund I-80 upgrades, chairman tells Joliet City Council
By BOB OKON
Oct. 15, 2018
The chairman of the state tollway board laid out a case to the Joliet City Council on Monday for turning the local stretch of Interstate 80 into a toll road.
“We at the tollway are ready to help,” Chairman Bob Schillerstrom told the council.
Schillerstrom was asked to make a presentation on the Illinois Tollway’s capacity to fund I-80 improvements.
He said turning the local stretch of road could speed up the pace of a $1 billion plan that the Illinois Department of Transportation now has for I-80 from New Lenox to Minooka.
“IDOT has said they may not have funds to work on 80 for 20 years,” Schillerstrom said. “The tollway’s here to help. We look to partner. We look to work with others.”
Mayor Bob O’Dekirk said he invited Schillerstrom to the council meeting after hearing him make a similar presentation to a new I-80 Coalition of government and business leaders that was created to push for progress on the planned improvements.
O’Dekirk said he gets “a real mixed reaction” when he speaks to Joliet gatherings about the possibility of turning the local section of I-80 into a tollway.
I-80 Project News
Construction crews on Monday will begin getting Interstate 80 ready for the $1.2 billion project that includes replacing the Des Plaines River bridge. The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Thursday that bridge deck patching and repairs to I-80 between Chicago and Briggs streets in Joliet will require overnight lane closures, followed by multiple weekend lane and ramp closures.
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